Don’t Do A Facebook About-Face

I’ve written before about admissions officers exploring applicants’ Facebook pages. Sometimes that’s good news and other times it’s not so good news. My personal opinion is that admissions officers don’t have enough time in their days to check out a ton of applicants on Facebook. The numbers are just too overwhelming. However, I do have a theory about which applicants might bear Facebook scrutiny. Maybe you’re one of them.

You may want to take a close look at your college applications: your major essay(s), your short responses, and any  “Additional Information” comments you’ve made. How do you think your readers in admissions would see you? Do you come off as confident, original, unorthodox, or an arrogant smarty pants? My theory is that if you clearly stand out from the mountain of other applicants in a certain way, your admissions readers may take a quick detour to your Facebook page to try to confirm any first-blush reactions they have about you.

So, then, what will they see when they get there? What’s on your wall? What kind of impression do those posts and pictures convey about you? Have you made any astounding philosophical revelations? Espoused any strongly political leanings? Maybe you love the Occupy Wall Streeters. Maybe you’re a big Herman Cain fan. Maybe you couldn’t care less about what’s going on in the world. What kinds of people and friends hang out with you on Facebook?

My theory also includes a caution: Beware promoting one type of personality in your college applications and a completely different one on Facebook. Don’t be a two-faced Facebooker. If you try to come off as being an intellectual in your college applications and then have Homer Simpson-like statements and images on your Facebook page . . . well, I don’t have to explain the consequences of that. Likewise, if you claim to belong to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and there are pictures of you chugging a yard of beer, well, again . . .

Here’s a quote from a recent article about admissions officers and Facebook: “The number of college admissions officials using Facebook to learn more about applicants has quadrupled in the past year …” That should give you pause for thought.

So, beer bongs be gone! The point: Ask yourself this question:

“What kind of person would complete strangers think me to be if the only information they had about me was my Facebook page?”

Now, ask yourself this:

“How does the person on my Facebook page compare with the person portrayed in my college application?”

Bottom line: Are you a two-faced Facebooker?